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Attention bias towards threat in African American children exposed to early life trauma
Behavioural Brain Research ( IF 2.770 ) Pub Date : 2020-01-25 , DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2020.112513
Maya Lakshman; Lauren Murphy; Yara Mekawi; Sierra Carter; Maria Briscione; Bekh Bradley; Erin B. Tone; Seth D. Norrholm; Tanja Jovanovic; Abigail Powers

Background Attentional bias is linked to a range of mood disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present study examined attention bias patterns in African American children exposed to trauma, in order to better understand potential risk factors for PTSD. Methods 31 children (ages 8–14) completed an eye-tracking task to assess gaze bias patterns while viewing pairs of emotional and neutral faces. Trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms were assessed in a subsample of children (n = 24). Results Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) results examining attention bias indices and gender showed greater attention bias toward angry faces than happy faces (p < 0.01) and toward emotional faces in males than females (p < 0.05). Correlational analyses showed attention bias toward angry faces was associated with greater levels of child trauma exposure (p < 0.05). Based on linear regression analysis, child trauma exposure accounted for 17 % of variance in attention bias toward angry versus neutral faces independent of gender or posttraumatic stress symptoms (p < 0.05). Conclusions Trauma exposure in children is related to altered attention bias, via enhanced attention towards threatening cues. Results contribute to evidence that males and females may exhibit different attentional patterns. This study highlights the importance of additional research on attention bias patterns and prospective mental health outcomes across gender and through development.
更新日期:2020-01-26

 

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